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[protege-owl] Best Practice for multilingual ontologies

Olivier Dameron olivier.dameron at
Wed Sep 20 11:30:41 PDT 2006

Quoting Steven Wartik <swartik at>:

> Oliver,
> I agree with your idea about modularization. I am curious to know why
> you would have myOntology-??.owl import myOntology.owl, rather than the
> other way around. If myOntology.owl imports myOntology-en.owl,
> myOntology-fr.owl, etc. then everyone can reference a single URI, yet
> still have access to the ontology in their preferred language.

The idea is that people may only be interested in some of the  
languages, not all, or even
no language at all. This way, they can choose whatever they like.

Second, I assume that you are not going to do all the translations in  
every language.
More likely, each language will be contributed by a different person.  
This way, thay can
all manage and share their language-specific part the way they like, without a
centralised repository. You could even have several versions of a same  
language (not sure
if that would really be useful, though, just speculating)

Eventually, I also see your point to have a bundle. Well, nothing  
prevents you from
- myOntology.owl
- myOntology-en.owl, myOntology-de.owl, etc, each one importing myOntology.owl
- myOntology-multilingual.owl that imports all the language-specific ones

This way, people can choose the bare ontology, the ontology + some  
languages, or the
ontology + all languages.

PS: if at some point you want to map myOntology-de.owl with some other  
german ontology,
you obviously won't need the french part.


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